Who Shot the Bullets? Exposure to Violence and Attitudes Toward Peace: Evidence from the 2016 Colombian Referendum Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2020

start page

  • 24

end page

  • 49


  • 62

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1531-426X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1548-2456


  • Does exposure to violence affect attitudes toward peace? Civilians living in war zones see peace agreements as an opportunity to improve their security prospects. However, in multiparty conflicts, this does not automatically translate into support for peace. Support hinges on the interplay between which faction has victimized civilians in the past and which faction is sitting at the negotiation table. If civilians have been victimized by the group that is involved in the peace agreement, they will be likely to support peace. On the contrary, if they have been victimized by another faction, they will be likely to refrain from supporting peace if they believe that this can trigger retaliatory violence against them. This article explores this argument empirically in the context of the 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC; both quantitative and qualitative data yield support to the study"s theoretical expectations.


  • attitudes toward peace; colombia; violence; peace agreement; farc; paramilitaries